Twenty-two new laws coming to California in 2022

The California State Assemblywas busy passing laws this year, despite disruptions to the session from the pandemic. From environmental protections to streamlining assisted death, many changes are in store for residents of the “Golden State”.

San Francisco’s Democratic Senator Scott Wiener drafted measure SB487 in an effort to address California’s housing crisis. This legislation will relax the limits on square footage based on lot size to allow for smaller apartment buildings. Napa’s Democratic Senator Bill Dodd wroteSB389 to allow restaurants tocontinue selling take out cocktails, beer and wine to Californians through the end of 2026.

Legislation addressing the environment, employment and policing are also among the new laws coming in 2022.

New laws in California for 2022 include:

SB9 creates a streamlined process to split lots, add second units to the properties and convert homes into duplexes.

SB10 will build out existing neighborhoods

SB487 relaxes regulations that limits square footage for a project based on lot size

SB2 allows state regulators to revoke the licenses of officers who commit “serious misconduct,” including using excessive force, committing sexual assault, displaying bias and participating in a law enforcement gang.

AB89 raises the minimum age for new officers to 21 and directs the community college system to develop a mandatory policing curriculum.

AB958 makes police participating in a “law enforcement gang,” a group of officers within a department that engage in a pattern of rogue on-duty behavior a fire able offense

AB481 requires law enforcement agencies to seek approval from their local governing bodies when they buy surplus military equipment

AB26 requires Police Departments to adopt policies that mandate immediate reporting when an officer witnesses a colleague using excessive force and punishes those who do not intervene

 AB490 prevents police from using restraints and transport other methods that carry a substantial risk of suffocating the suspect

AB48 prohibits them from firing rubber bullets or tear gas at a protest unless it is a life-threatening situation.

SB16 allows for more types of personnel records to be subject to public disclosure including those related to excessive use of force and sustained findings of failure to intervene, unlawful arrests and searches, and discrimination.

SB73 ends mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, giving judges discretion to hand down probation instead of jail time for offenses

SB81 directs judges considering sentencing enhancements to give greater weight to mitigating factors, such as whether the offense was connected to mental illness or childhood trauma and whether the enhancement is based on a prior conviction that is more than five years old.

AB1171 eliminates criminal code that treats “spousal rape” differently from rape, making prison time and sex offender registration mandatory in those cases.

AB453 criminalizes the non-consensual removal of condoms during intercourse, known as “stealthing.”

AB118 creates a pilot program to test community-based alternatives to a police response when people call 911. Community groups can receive grants to respond to some 911 calls that don’t require a police officer, such as issues related to mental health and substance abuse

SB332 enables more private controlled fires by reducing the legal liability for burn bosses when a fire escapes control lines and requires an emergency response.

AB1276 prohibits dine-in restaurants, drive-thrus and food-delivery platforms from handing out single-use utensils and condiment packets unless the customer asks.

AB811 raises the standards for when local jurisdictions can credit plastic waste that is exported to other countries toward their recycling goals.

AB1346 bans the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small off-road engines, starting in 2024, at the earliest. The law would not prohibit the sale of used gas-powered machinery.

AB397 requires the Employment Development Department to provide advance notice if it plans to reject a claim and give the person a chance to correct any mistakes on their application before they are disqualified from eligibility.

AB701 enforces warehouse productivity quotas requiring companies to disclose their quotas, and prohibits them from punishing workers who take bathroom breaks or mandatory rest periods, and create legal paths for employees to challenge working conditions.

AB37 requires elections officials to mail every active registered voter in California a ballot for all future elections under

SB389 allows restaurants to continue selling beer, wine and cocktails to go through the end of 2026.

SB380 streamlines California’s assisted death process, making it easier for terminally ill patients to obtain a lethal prescription and end their lives on their own terms

AB1096 strikes the word “alien” from state law and replaces it with alternatives like “person who is not a citizen.”

AB1084 requires large retail stores to have a gender-neutral area or display for selling children’s toys and items. The bill does not ban boys and girls sections in stores, but requires the addition of a neutral area.

AB43 gives cities new authority to reduce their speed limits. Local officials can reduce limits in increments of 5 mph by factoring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in traffic surveys.

SB221 requires insurance companies and health plans to provide timely follow-up care and reduce wait times for patients seeking care for mental health and substance use issues.

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